White Oak + Van Walk Away From Friday’s Intersquad Scrimmage Happy And Healthy
WHITE OAK -- Van quarterback Garrett Moseley did not get to play very much in his team's intersquad scrimmage Friday at White Oak, but the junior and second-year starter made the most of his limited reps.
Moseley completed 6 of 6 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. He also ran three times for a total of 33 yards and a score to help the Vandals' starting 22 players from Class 4A Division I vaguely defeat the Roughnecks' starting 22 players from Class 3A Division I by a score of two touchdowns to one.
"Well, you know, scrimmages are scrimmages," Van head coach Jarrett Moffatt said. "We just tried to evaluate kids, just like them. We didn't game plan them and they didn't game plan us. I thought the defense played well. They gave up a big play the first play of the scrimmage, but, after that, I thought the defense played really well and flew to the football.
"Garrett played real well. Threw the football well and ran well. Jackson Taylor threw the ball well. Of course, they were also helped out. Receivers made plays and caught the ball while getting hit."
Isaiah Allred caught four passes from Moseley for 79 yards, including Moseley's 24-yard passing touchdown. Connor Houston eclipsed 70 yards receiving by hauling in a 29-yard pass with the starters and a long ball touchdown from backup signal caller Jackson Taylor.
The Vandals' straightforward running game was the only facet that received somewhat mixed, albeit optimistic, reviews.
Cooper Bledsoe, a two-year starting safety ahead of his senior year, led Van's running back with four carries and ran for a net of seven yards.
Moffatt is in the process of replacing now-SMU running back Aphonso Thomas, a back contesting for playing time as a true freshman.
The end of last season marked the end of a three-year era of obviously great running back play. Matt Savis played alongside Thomas the first two years of the stretch -- and got the opportunity to play Division II college football -- ahead of Thomas shouldering the load mostly by himself as a senior.
Van experimented with a H-back to see if an additional blocker in the box would give its new backs a boost. That experiment will continue.
"H-back, we're dabbling in a little bit," Moffatt said. "We have a little more things on this year. We have some good H-back personnel in Brax Thompson and Jake Hutchins. We're just trying to take advantage of what our guys can do. We'll see how it unfolds."
Bledsoe did not play his traditional role of safety. Moffatt already knows what he's capable of in the defensive backfield.
Van's depth players were the biggest winners of the scrimmage in terms of playing time. The staff pulled the majority of the starting offense after it produced a six-play, 80-yard opening touchdown drive during the controlled portion of the scrimmage and then released it to play one seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive an hour later.
It's harder to pull things from White Oak's performance. Mostly because the Roughnecks' players competed in numberless practice uniforms.
Junior quarterback Heath Hood threw a 68-yard pass the first play of the scrimmage and gave the starting bunch their lone touchdown two plays later with a 7-yard rollout strike.
Hood ultimately completed 10 of 17 passes for 125 yards, the touchdown and threw one interception. He ran twice for six yards, but he also got touch-sacked four times for a net of minus-14 yards.
"He's developed well over the offseason," Roughnecks coach Kris Iske said. "He had the (leg) injury last season that ended his season. He progressed after he healed up in the spring. He's consistently getting better every week, and that's what we want. He's going to be able to be a quarterback that can run it and also throw it very well."
Van's starting defense gave up eight White Oak first downs and a total of 134 yards through 41 plays. It stopped eight of nine Roughnecks' possessions -- most of which started at the far 25-yard line -- from reaching the end zone.
White Oak's defense did not get a stop against the Vandals' starting offense, but it did have more success in its pairings against opposing backup players. Notably, one interception.
Both teams will play in intersquad scrimmages next week and then open respective seasons Aug. 25.
Van will travel to Red Oak for its second scrimmage and then will remain on the road to open its campaign at Mineola.
Elysian Fields will host White Oak for a scrimmage before New Diana visits Roughneck Stadium for the first real game of the year.
"It was just a good competition," Iske said. "They hit hard and they bring it. They're well-coached. We wanted some stiff competition and our kids handled it pretty well. We may have been outmatched at some times, but then we made some plays also.
"One of the best things I'm happy with is we came out without any injuries. That's always a plus coming out of a scrimmage. Our kids performed well enough and we made enough mistakes we can correct to improve."